Exporting Layers?

It’s me again - still evaluating the Harmony (v12.2.1) workflow.

I’m having trouble finding information about exporting my animation in layers, named/ordered as they are organized in the timeline (I have a script for Flash that does exactly this, and it’s been a HUGE timesaver). Specifically, I have a character currently separated into the following layers: Line, Skin Fill (FG), Clothing Fill, Skin Fill (BG). These layers have all been grouped together in a single “Character” group.

It’s important for me to preserve each layer as an individual SWF/PNGseq for compositing purposes, which will be done in an external program. I realize Harmony has its own compositing tools, but we have specific project needs that require individual layer renders.

Is there a node I can add to the Write node to separate the contents of each layer within the “Character” group into its own image sequence? This is a critical part of our workflow, and we can get pretty granular with our layering, so having to attach individual write nodes to each layer is not a workable solution for us in the long run.

Thanks for any help!

Hi DisQiet,

that’s interesting. Could you post a screen shot of your node view?

stefman

Sure thing, you can see my layer grouping and nodes here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ekriyosgopm9j9f/NodeView.jpg?dl=0

I was simplifying a bit in my original post - as you can see, the character actually has 7 layers grouped together in the “Stand_Neutral” group, each of which I’d like to export as an individual image sequence.

I’ve tried both attaching and detaching the “composite” node, although that seems to have no effect on output. I also attempted de-grouping the layers, but that seems to require attaching an individual write node to each, since the write node can only accept a single input.

OK,

so, if I’m right, the Flash script you use does the following:

  • hides all layers but one
  • renders out the images or swf of that single remaining shown layer by naming them according to the layer name
  • hides that layer layer after finishing the image export
  • reveals the layer underneath, renders them out and so on for all the layers of your timeline.

Is this what you are looking for?

I’m not sure that this is a default feature of Harmony, but I think that it could be done via a script.

But, there’s one more thing that you should think about. Contrary to Flash, in Harmony the layer order is not necessarily the display order, as you can animate the display order of elements by moving them backwards/forward using [Alt]+[Down Arrow] / [Alt]+[Up Arrow].
This means that the layer order does not necessarily represent the order in which your elements are shown in the camera view.

Yes, you’re exactly right! This is exactly what I’m looking for. I guess it’s off to the “feature requests” forum for me…

Thanks also for clarifying the layer order / display order distinction. I hadn’t been aware of that, and I can see how it would be a very useful feature for exporting finished animation. Unfortunately we’re working on an interactive project that requires each layer to be preserved as its own matte (hence the need for individual layer exports).

It wasn’t the answer I was hoping for, but thanks for taking the time to help out!

You’re welcome.

But, that’s only my point of view and perhaps I’m just ignoring the existence of the feature you’re looking for.

Perhaps, someone of the forum or of the Toon Boom team could help out better then me.